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The Politics of Fear?

This Woman Is Not Scary!
This Woman Is Not Scary!

If you have been paying attention to all the Palin-mania over the past few weeks, you might notice a common thread running through all the negativity: Fear.

Here are just some of the things we are supposed to fear about Governor Palin:

These claims, despite their zero basis in fact, can easily be believed by the Democratic Party faithful. They simply reinforce our underlying credo that Republicans are evil, hateful, ignorant idiots, just as the Party Republican faithful believe we Democrats are weak, unpatriotic, foolish moonbats.

But to win a Presidential election, both parties must convince the undecided voters, since neither party makes up a majority of the electorate. And here’s something we may not realize about these folks: They’re not stupid. They’re not uninformed.

They just don’t agree with us.

Continue reading

Hillary’s Statement on the Bailout (Clip and save)

There are three excellent posts that should be required reading in conjunction with this statement.  Please check out:

And now, one more data point that proves that the Democrats selected the wrong candidate (Highlights and commentary by Anglachel):

Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Administration’s Proposal to Restore Stability to U.S. Financial Markets

“When the American people, facing a foreclosure crisis and struggling economy, turned to this administration for help, the answer was no. Now, the administration is turning to the American people for help, to rescue the credit markets and take on hundreds of billions in debt and financial obligations as a consequence of that same foreclosure crisis. The truth is, Main Street came to Washington and got little. Now Washington is coming to Main Street and asking for a lot. The American people deserve to know that this isn’t a blank check. While the need to address the current crisis is clear, I will only support steps that will prevent a widening crisis, tackle the worst kinds of abuse tolerated for too long by the Bush Administration, and address the root problems at work.

The proposed intervention outlined today by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson would be a watershed moment for our economy. I believe that such an intervention demands that we fundamentally alter the priorities and policies of our nation under the Bush Administration that allowed this crisis to take place and escalate. Corporations that will benefit must be held accountable not only to large shareholders but also to the American people. And American taxpayers deserve to know that their money will not allow for a continuation of the status quo: short term profit at the expense of long term viability; obscene bonuses and golden parachutes regardless of performance; reckless risk taking that have placed the markets in so much jeopardy; rewards for those who foreclose on middle class families and sell mortgages designed to fail to turn a profit; and outsourcing of good jobs to serve short term stock prices instead of America’s long term economic health. The prevailing dynamic of corporate America, where the sole priority was the dividend, the inflated bonus and the quarterly earnings report, must give way to a new respect for the long term prosperity of the American worker and the well being of the middle class.

After eight years of failed policies – and two years of an absentee administration – our only option left may be an unprecedented government intervention into the private markets. The markets must be stabilized to stave off wider turmoil. Nevertheless, the urgency of this crisis does not mean that we should offer a blank check to financial institutions or the privileged few. Nor can we simply allow the administration to use the taxpayers like a ‘reset button.’ We cannot allow Wall Street to act without oversight by a vigilant SEC and administration – and without regard for the American people, who will now have paid twice: in falling prey to a widening credit crisis, and in paying the bill to hopefully bring it to an end.

I will be examining the administration’s proposal very closely to ensure that we do not approve a policy that may stabilize the markets in the short term without addressing the root problems facing middle class families or the kinds of reckless gambling that was permitted for far too long by the administration. The Bush Administration may have changed its tune once the crisis facing Main Street hit Wall Street. But we need to be sure that the American taxpayers – asked to shoulder yet more risk and responsibility – have a voice.”

The AP is working for the Republicans

How else do we explain the AP-Yahoo study that purports to show that one third of Democrats will not vote for Obama because of his race.  Only 59% of Clintonistas will vote for Obama (Really?  We’ve been that successful?!  Alright! {{high-fives all around}}).  So there must be a correlation between the reluctance of these former Hillary people and their prejudices.

There can’t possibly be any other reason for why we will not vote for him.*  We must simply not like African Americans and think them incapable of leading. That must be it.

But what if that’s NOT it?  What if the holdouts are simply unconvinced that Obama is ready to be president?  Maybe they think it would be cool if an African American would  be president but they wish Obama had waited 8 years.  Maybe they are put off by the way he conducted his campaign.  Maybe they don’t like his supporters.  Maybe they were offended by the sexist attacks on Clinton.  Maybe the people in NJ didn’t like their votes for Hillary turned over to Obama at the convention without even a “By Your Leave”.  Maybe they didn’t like that Hillary wasn’t offered VP.  Maybe the whole economic/war/globalization thing has them spooked and they want an older and wiser leader.

Or MAYBE they are really sick of this “If you are white and you don’t like Obama, you are a skin head, Nazi, KKK, ignorant racist.”  Hmmm, let me check with myself on this.  Yup, my self says that I am sick of it.  In fact, the more I read about polls like this, the sicker and angrier I get.  I get so angry that I think to myself, “I am not going to let someone insult me and offend me over and over again and let them get away with it.   I will not be shamed into voting for Obama because I have nothing to be ashamed of.   I am going to vote *against* the person who does that just to teach them a lesson.  And the lesson is, stable systems result when there are bonds made and disorder reduced.  And calling people racists when they aren’t is counterproductive to stability and leads to distrust and disorder and inefficiency.  A candidate who sinks to that level is not a good leader.”  I know of a LOT of other people who are feeling the same way.  I don’t have to prove my non-racist bona fides to anyone by voting for this corrupt politician.  I can give my vote to whoever I want or no one at all.

This race baiting strategy has jumped the shark.  So, I can’t possibly see the advantage of rolling it out now.  Strategically it is stupid to further antagonize your shrinking base.  Therefore, I can only conclude that the Republicans are fanning the flames of faux racism by commissioning this poll.  But it wouldn’t work nearly so well if Obama hadn’t lit the match in the first place.

*Talk about burying the lede, the REAL reason most Clintonistas won’t vote for him has nothing to do with racism:

Perhaps most noteworthy, the AP notes that the study itself found that “race is not the biggest factor driving Democrats and independents away from Obama.” It notes that “doubts about his competency loom even larger.”

Sunday: Highly Ineffective Obamaphiles

Lea Lane at Huffington Post is worried. Yesterday, she tried to offer some advice to her fellow Obamaphiles that should have been titled, How to talk to Clintonistas (if you must) but which was posted in disguise as Eat Crow?  Hell Yes to Win this Election.  She is concerned that in your PUMA anger and “confusion” about the election, you will without thinking, condemn her to a wiki page cautionary tale of a failed movement. You may unknowingly prove to be her worst enemy by voting against your own interests. It troubles her.

But she has a plan. In times like these, Lea turns to her bible of self-empowerment: Her worn and dogeared copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Lea and her fellow team mates have been sort of “cafeteria” Coveyites. They’ve backslid on 1. Being proactive, since nothing is their fault. If we weren’t all barely literate racists, we’d have gotten onboard by now. If they had followed 2. Begin with the end in mind, they might have picked a different candidate because this one won’t get them where they want to go or, perhaps, they might not have treated us like barely-literate racists, as that tends to make us not like them or their candidate much, disinclining us to vote for Obama. If they had 3. Put first things first, they might have realized that their short term scorched earth campaign tactics and hooliganism were undermining the Clintonistas faith in the system and trust in their candidate. And while 4. Think Win/Win might have persuaded them that at least offering the job of VP to Senator Clinton would have been a better strategic move, they seemed to have been too belligerent and deluded (aka “angry and confused”) to see the benefits of such a plan.

Having failed to lay the proper foundation for a meaningful and constructive working relationship with us, because that requires preparation, strategery and thoughtfulness, Lea puts all of her chips on the one thing she thinks she’s good at and will take the least amount of effort with us stupid, working class, uneducated Sino-Peruvian lesbians- using her words.  She goes straight for habit 5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. This habit is sort of like the old “I feel your pain” or “I hear what you’re saying” but it’s trickier than that in that it relies on empathic listening.  Empathic listening is the practice of repeating what the person says to you with the goal of mutual understanding.  For example, you might say:

“You Obamaphiles are really out of control.  Where the f$^& do you get off telling me that I’m a racist because I refuse to vote for the guy who managed to nullify my vote at the convention?”

and Lea should repeat:

“So, you’re saying that we’re out of control.  You don’t like to be called racists and you have legitimate reasons for not voting for Obama.  You don’t like the fact that your vote didn’t count at the convention.”

Then you would come back with:

“Yeah, and the guy has no experience.  What kind of idiot would run for President after spending 142 days as Senator?  Did you hear him at the debates with Hillary?  She cleaned his clock.  He couldn’t hold a candle to her in terms of knowledge of policy, committment to Democratic principles and confidence.”

Then *she* says:

“So, you are saying that Obama has no experience and doesn’t know policy as well as Hillary.  And you don’t feel that Obama has Democratic principles.  Is that right?”

and YOU say:

“But the straw that finally broke the camel’s back is the overt sexism, first directed at Hillary and then at Sarah Palin.  Do we look like we just fell off the turnip truck?  Do you think you can just whisper “roe” in our ears and we’ll jump through hoops for you?  If Roe is so important to the Democrats, why do so few of their candidates have any mention of reproductive rights on their websites?  Why was Obama courting the evangelical vote?  Why did the platform committee water down the section on choice?  Why is there one message for evangelicals and Republicans and a different message for Democratic women?  Where does he stand on the issue?  And when are we going to stop having male poiticians holding Roe over our heads?  And lay off Sarah Palin, for God’s sakes!  It makes you Obama women look like mindless reactionary sexists determined to undermine your own gender.”

And she says:

Well, hopefully, she says nothing, having gotten the point.  But as Lea lays out her strategy for empathically listening to your righteous indignation, one gets the sense that she really isn’t open to what you are saying.  For example she says:

Eat crow. To get started, memorize this phrase, take a deep breath and say: “Now that I see how unqualified Sarah Palin is, I realize how I misjudged Hillary Clinton. Even Biden said she would have made a great vice president.” Saying you wish she were the presidential nominee may go too far, and you may not be able to get it out. But if the Hillaryite brings it up, don’t argue, and see below.

Lea does not open herself up to a mutual give and take here.  She expects you, the clueless PUMA to finally come around to Obama but she will not make that same capitulation to YOU even though it is her contingent in the driver’s seat right now (but not for long).  She just can’t bring herself to do what should be risk free.

Or take this section:

Take a breath, and move to the next step, which may be the hardest. Praise HRC. Never mention her flaws. Be gracious and do not bring up her vote for the war, or her “dirty campaign.” Do not allude to Bill. Instead, try to find something you can praise with some conviction — some version of “By the end of the campaign I could understand why people were so enthusiastic about Senator Clinton (not “Hillary”). I saw her toughness, her brains, her heart.” “She is gracious and helpful in defeat.” And especially, “Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton.” You may have to go back to steps one and two. Nobody said this would be easy.

Ok, I have to stop right there.  If you want to find out what else Lea and the other Obamaphiles have planned for you, go read the whole ridiculous thing.  I’m sorry, I can’t take anyone who supports Obama seriously when they accuse Hillary of running a “dirty campaign”.  I think at that point I am too bent over with laughter to hear anything else that Lea says.

Here’s the message I would like to communicate to Lea and her ilk:  You guys are fu@%ed.  Big time.  We’ve heard all your stupid hypocritical arguments on sexism and Roe.  We know you have no respect for Hillary or the process. We are determined to stop Obama and his corrupt Chicago Machine in its tracks.  Wake up and smell the Starbucks, Lea.  If you want to win us back, grovel.  Get down on your knees and beg forgiveness.  Promise that you’ll haul Howard Dean’s ass back to Vermont.  Get Obama to apologize profusely for the caucus fraud and the sexism and the accusations of racism and the delegate manipulation at the convention.  We want the satisfaction of seeing him admit that our votes matter to him.

If you can’t do that, move to 6. Synergize.  Think of all the ways you can work together with us to reform the Democratic party after its catastrophic failure this year.

Yeah, right.  We can’t count on you.  You didn’t do all of your proactive work.  Why should we expect you to help clean up?  Nahh, you guys will move straight to 7. Sharpening your saws.  It will be all recreation from here until 2012.  Just do us a favor.  Stay out of politics from now on please.  Leave the real work to the people who actually want to be highly effective.

Stuff you can do now:

  • Contribute to our ActBlue pages.  We now have a link up to The Fab Four on ActBlue.  Did you know that our cocktail party fundraiser last Thursday brought in $700?  We’ll be doing a fundraiser every Thursday from now until the election to help downtcket Dems.  Lea?  Are you working for a downticket Dem or is it all O, all of the time?
  • Contribute to Heidi Li’s effort to send Howard Dean back to Vermont and tell him to eat Sugar on Snow.   Send $10 to Democrats for Principle before Party to place ads in Capital Hill newspapers.
  • Listen to last night’s broadcast of Murphy and Friends PUMA Tea Party.  Murphy talked to Paulie and Marilu of Real Democrats USA.  They need help in the swing states to make Obama very, very busy.  If you want to see Obama running his skinny ass off trying to put out fires, they have a plan for you.  😉